The Burden of Bad Ideas

  • by Heather MacDonald
  • Narrated by Anna Fields
  • 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In closely reported stories from the streets of New York to the seats of intellectual power, MacDonald shows how bad ideas get started and then acquire a life of their own. Her reports trace the transformation of influential opinion-makers and large philanthropic foundations from confident advocates of individual responsibility, opportunity, and learning into apologists for the welfare state. The prevailing orthodoxy of ideas, she finds, has affected our schools with ruinous consequences for our children. While these beliefs have damaged the nation as a whole, she observes, they have hit the poor especially hard. When it comes to urban problems and social policy, The Burden of Bad Ideas is more than a breath of fresh air. It's a cold shower.


What the Critics Say

"Anna Fields has a rich, womanly voice. She brings every anecdote to life, careening from fiery indignation to icy sarcasm and back again." (AudioFile)
"Spirited, stimulating essays....Vivid and devastating....Social, cultural and political criticism of the first order." (Washington Post)
"Provocative...even when you disagree with her you recognize that her viewpoint must be thoughtfully considered and countered." (Wall Street Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Shining the cold light of truth . . .

Liberals will definitely NOT like this book as it exposes their moral house of cards for what it is. Heather McDonald paints a stark picture of the current state of American social policy - a policy that's been hijacked by multi-cultural and diversity fetishists from the 60?s for whom theory always trumps real-world experience. With clear and specific examples, Ms. McDonald shows how radical leftist social engineers have been able to create a social system completely devoid of any notion of personal responsibility. By elevating identity politics, racial chauvinism and radical feminism above common sense, the liberal elite in academia and government have helped to create a self-destructive culture of entitlement and moral relativism that has hurt those they condescendingly claim to speak for: minorities and the American underclass. The results are disturbing: a perpetual cycle of dependence, the destruction of the inner city, and the destruction of the nuclear family (especially the African American family). An absolute must read!
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- Mike

Moderate not a big fan either

The greatest flaw I find in the intellectual liberal and conservative is the need to demonize the opposite camp. While there is no doubt that the facts presented are accurate, there is little balance or objectivity, which makes this presentation about the same as the liberal rhetoric it abhores.
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- Laura Nugent

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-01-2005
  • Publisher: Books on Tape